For the 272nd episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, we’re joined by Kristin Macintyre. Kristin is a conversion copywriter who writes copy for launches with her signature VIP offer. If VIP offers are something you want to implement in the new year, then give this episode a listen.
Here’s how the episode goes down:
- Kristin’s journey from college professor to launch copywriter.
- Starting and building a successful copywriting business in a short timespan.
- How copywriting and poetry have empathy in common.
- The open-ended questions that lead your clients to their true answer.
- How to teach and mentor with real-world examples.
- Pivoting your niche and offer for higher level success.
- Structuring a VIP offer. How does it break down?
- The difference between a VIP day and a VIP intensive.
- Elevating the client journey through different touchpoints.
- How to get more done by observing where your time is going.
- Adding a VIP intensive into your offer suite – is it possible for your business?
- How to set your VIP prices and when to increase them.
- The struggles of executing a VIP project and how to avoid burnout.
- What to add to your routine to keep up your energy during writing sprints.
- The power of knowing ‘why’ we use the formulas and frameworks we do.
- Diving into the digital product space and marketing your business.
- How copywriting is evolving into a new era of conversion.
Looking to implement a new business model in 2022? Grab your headphones or read the transcript below.
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The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:Kira’s website
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Accelerator
The Copywriter Underground
Kira: There’s been a lot of buzz in the copywriting world around VIP offers, what should you include? What should you charge? How much is too much? How do you avoid burnout? The questions go on and on. Luckily, we’re covering a ton of your question about VIP offers today with think tank member and our guest for the 272nd episode of The Copywriter Club podcast, Kristin McIntyre. After shifting from a standard VIP day to a VIP intensive model, Kristin has figured out the best way to deliver a true VIP client experience. We’ll dig into all the details in today’s interview. But first, I have a very special co-host for this episode, think tank alumni member, Rachel Greiman. So, Rachel, thanks for co-hosting with me today. Can you introduce yourself and say hello?
Rachel: Yeah, thank you for having me. I’m Rachel Greiman, as Kira said. I am a website copywriter for photographers, it is the nichiest of niches, and I love it. I own Green Chair Stories and we are a small copywriting collective. We have four writers besides myself at this point and we write about 50 websites a year. We don’t do anything else, and we like it that way.
Kira: All right, I love it. And we’re going to definitely dive into your business today because there is some overlap with what Kristin’s doing in her business. So we’ll dig in deeper. But before we get into the interview, this week sponsor for the podcast is TCC IRL. That’s the copywriter club in real life, our big annual event. Before I give the dates and all the information. Rachel, can you just share a little bit about your experience at TCC IRL because you’ve been before and you are attending in Nashville this March. So what was it like for you?
Rachel: The first one, I’ve been to two, I went in 2019 and 2020, and the first one was in New York.
Kira: Oh, that’s right.
Rachel: And it was the first time I had ever invested in any type of copywriting education or networking. Even though I had been doing it for a long time, I always worked for other organizations and it was nonprofit. So I didn’t know anybody that did it freelance or ran their own business, it was a completely new world to me. I had stumbled upon the podcast earlier that year and we were living in Philly at the time. So I was like, “I can make it, the drive up to New York.” I was just so surprised at how much I could learn from people who did things that were so different than me. I do something so specific that I was not skeptical, but hesitant to really feel like I was going to get all that much from the speakers. But I took an entire notebook full of notes the first day almost, I think I filled a notebook because I was realizing how much I had to learn as a business owner.
So many things that other people were doing, even if they were launch copywriters or direct sales copywriters, I learned so much from them just because of the way they ran their business. So the speakers themselves were amazing. But then I met some of my dearest friends now who I’ve known for almost three years. It’s crazy to think about that I have a daily Marco Polo thread with Lisa Bailey, Sarah Frandina, Kelsey Jenkins, and Andrea Latel. So I talk to them all the time and they have been extremely supportive friends and just business partners. There are people I can go to with all of my questions. It was like taking that spirit of the event and extending it into my daily life. And it’s kind of a reunion now when we go. So I think we’re all going to go again this year. I know a couple of them are going, I’m trying to get all of them to go again. But it is just like our little posse.
Kira: I love that. So maybe if you’re listening and you want some copywriter besties, this could be an event worth checking out in Nashville, Tennessee on March 28th through the 30th. And you can find out more information at thecopywriterclub.com/tccirl-2022. Now let’s jump into the interview with Kristin.
Kristin: It’s a windy story as they normally are. But I suppose when I think of where I am now as a copywriter, I can really see roots beginning when I was younger. I was always interested in writing, of course, I had the classic assignment in seventh grade or so to write a poem in language arts class, and I loved that activity. So creative writing was something that I loved from when I was young. As I got older, I figured I would go to school for what I loved, which was English and writing and reading. And I did that and finished a bachelor’s degree after some start stop of that degree and ended up in a master of fine arts program in Colorado State University studying poetry for three years. Which was truly such an amazing experience. And after that, I decided to teach, get into the world of teaching higher ed.
And the poetry faculty jobs are very limited, so I ended up teaching freshmen in college how to write their research papers. So still language minded and writer minded. But I got away a little bit from the creative side of writing and ended up teaching composition. Which was a job that I felt disenchanted with quickly. After a couple years teaching, gets exhausting. And not because of the students, the students were my favorite part for sure, but the red tape and the admin stuff and all of the emotional labor that is really not factored into your paycheck, gets exhausting. So in my fifth year as a teacher, I was looking for an alternative possibility for a career, and I had no idea what that would be. I finally settled on or settled into the thought that I would go back to school to become an occupational therapist, which I felt was a great job with a career at the end of the degree that I would be able to roll right into.
I geared up to do that. I took extra classes in school, I took the GRE, which is a big entrance exam to get into a master’s program for occupational therapy, and I applied. I applied to some schools and I got in. I was waiting to just submit my acceptance to a new master’s program. And somehow through the algorithm gods, I came across a copywriting program and figured I would give that a shot. That I thought was going to turn into just a side hustle to make me some extra money and fund my way through a second master’s degree. I did so well in my first, I don’t know, three or four months that I quit teaching. I told the master’s program I wasn’t coming and I went all in on building a copywriting business.
Rob: So as soon as you mentioned that you studied poetry, I started Googling to see if I could find some of your poems, and I found some.
Kristin: Oh, God.
Kira: Wait, play the dramatic music right now.
Rob: Awesome dramatic music. So I don’t think they’re embarrassing, they’re actually cool. So you’ve submitted a lot of poems and things to different publications, this is totally cool. Talk to me a little bit about the art of poetry. Because some of my favorite writers when I’m reading fiction, one of the things that occurs to me when I’m reading that is that sometimes the thing I like about it is how poetic the language feels. And it’s not necessarily the same as copywriting or even normal conversation, poets have a way of seeing the world I think that’s just a little bit different and maybe more interesting. So tell us about your approach when you were writing poetry. Maybe you still do write poetry, but your approach to doing that.
Kristin: When I think of poetry and I think of fiction and these creative veins of writing, poetry stands out to me as a mode of thinking about the world, that is, you’re right Rob, a little bit different than our traditional narrative driven like a pro’s story. Poetry suspends itself from that typical sentence structure sometimes that we think about and we expect when we speak or we read. So when you’re poems or you’re writing poems, it’s a really, really interesting experience to say, I have to suspend what I expect out of this language that I’ve come to know, this regular sentence structure and this narrative form that I’m going to meet a story here. And be open to encountering this thing that I know so well, which is language in a brand new way. Which is why poetry invites in those funny line breaks and these really surprising images and even these sound patterns.
We invite these different modes of language into poetry a little bit more freely than we do in fiction or nonfiction. And that has always been really interesting to me. And I truly think that it’s an exercise in empathy when you can meet a poem and say, “I’m going to suspend everything I expect of you and I’m going to ask this poem questions and I’m going to read it and I’m going to experience it exactly the way it is and absorb that and respond to it.” That’s truly an empathy practice and a really great way to interact with the rest of the world too.
Kira: How does your background in poetry show up today in your own writing and launch copy or even in your business, if it does?
Kristin: I think that, and maybe this piggybacks off of what I was just chatting about, but I really do think that when I’m writing conversion copy for launches and I’m doing market research or I’m investigating a particular pain point or audience to get to know their pain points, it’s really a poetic practice, like I was chatting about with inviting empathy into the equation. And going into that market research, really suspending everything that I think I know about that audience, and asking open-ended questions and being really willing to listen I think is something that we do in poetry, is we listen to that poem. And I think that’s what we do in market research, we listen to our audience. And those things might, on their face, seem very different. But I don’t think they are that different. So I think listening is one big piece of how the art of poetry and the art of conversion copy converge.
Another thing I’ll say too is, the poem has this type of architecture in it that’s really, really interesting. Whether you’re, again, breaking lines or adding sound elements to poems, there’s this hidden architecture much like there is to music. And I think that true of conversion copy too. When we think of launch strategy or we think of a sales page strategy, there’s a lot of architecture to that page that really comes into play as you’re being creative, as you’re listening, as you’re writing, as you’re revising. And those are things that I’m truly interested in my business too, is thinking about the hidden architectures that we take for granted or maybe gloss over that truly matter.
Rob: So, I have three or four weirdly formed questions in my head to ask. But do you think that more copywriters ought to be more poetic in their approach or that we could benefit from reading more poetry?
Kristin: I wouldn’t go that far. But I do think because poetry as an art form really truly isn’t for everyone and that’s perfectly okay, just like painting isn’t for everyone or music isn’t for everyone. I do think that inviting art or creativity into your life does almost the same things as what I’ve come to know and love, which is poetry. So do I think more copywriters might invite a creative practice into their lives to again, practice empathy and see where their mind takes them? Absolutely, I think that’s for sure a strength to undergird all the thinking we do about conversion. Which is a word I’m not a fan of, but yes.
Rob: So last question about poetry, at least for me, who are your favorite poets, two or three people that if we wanted to get a little bit more into poetry or open up our eyes and ears to that, who would you recommend?
Kristin: Sure. I always recommend a book called Night Sky With Exit Wounds by a Vietnamese American poet named Ocean Vuong, who is really, really, truly tremendous. I think his poems are obviously beautiful but also very accessible, so I think maybe beginner friendly. I will also throughout another poet who I come back to again and again whose name is Kaveh Akbar. And he has a very tiny book called portrait of the alcoholic, which is a collection of poems that are about or rather derived from his days of dealing with active alcoholism that are just truly stunning. So those are my two recommendations always in the beginning.
Kira: So, I know I’m putting you on the spot with this question, but you mentioned that you can ask questions of a poem and in the same way, when you sit down to work on a launch project with a client, you will ask questions and not really assume anything. Those are my words not your words. But can you give an example of how that actually looks like with a launch project?
Kristin: The best questions to ask are always open ended, we don’t want to phrase anything. And this is where language also comes into play, it’s just so woven into everything. We don’t want to phrase anything in a leading way, we want to be almost observers rather than active participants. And I know that observers paradox is a thing, you can’t ever not. Your presence can’t really be removed, and that’s true in market research too. But I think the best questions to ask are questions that truly are looking for the right answer or the audience’s true answer and not the answer you’re hoping to find. Which might be a vague way of answering that question. But again, open-ended questions that don’t lead into or pigeonhole your client or the interviewee to a certain answer are always best to get an empathetic relationship built.
Rob: So, Kristin, as we’ve talked with people on the podcast and in our programs, a lot of copywriters have some teaching experience in the background. Whether they taught a class. I’m certainly not at the level that you did with multiple master’s degrees, that kind of a thing. But I have this theory that all copywriters are teachers, we’re basically teaching people about products, we’re teaching about opportunities for them to improve their lives, whatever. How would you say that your experience as a teacher contributes to what you do as a copywriter?
Kristin: I’ve found that as a teacher, whenever I was trying to connect with my students or show them something new that they hadn’t encountered before, tangible examples really are that last leap that takes folks from just thinking about things theoretically into practical application. So almost the number one thing that I always come back to when I’m teaching anything or maybe giving a presentation is okay, I can explain the step by step pieces here in digestible, actionable ways and then I have to give an example if that’s going to solidify for my audience, and maybe an unsurprising answer. But I think that examples are really truly underplayed, especially in the online course world. Taking a couple courses myself where the material is very theoretical or the course creators maybe explaining something, maybe a framework, but none of that is ever truly brought into focus with an example or honestly, maybe two or three examples of how that theory might play out a few ways. That’s always a tenant of teaching that I’ve seen come true in my copywriting life when I’m chatting with clients.
Kira: Let’s talk about where your business is today. When did you make that pivot and move over to copywriting and ditch the pursuit of occupational therapy? How long ago was that?
Kristin: Oh, that was just, let’s see, I started my copywriting business, got an LLC in January or maybe February of 2020. I worked real hard to set all the backend stuff up, get a website up. And I sent out my first cold email to get my first clients on the day that the coronavirus was to declared a pandemic, and that was in March 2020. So it truly wasn’t that long ago, maybe a year and a half I opened doors.
Kira: I wanted to share that because you have grown so quickly and you’ve had so many successes since then, including I believe a 17K month and the type of success that so many of us aspire to a achieve. So I’m just wondering, how are you able to do that so quickly? And what were those actions that you took to get to where you are today?
Kristin: I’m truly wowed by this world that we all are all existing in, this online business world and the copywriter’s business world because I would have never expected things to accelerate as fast as they have for me in a year and a half, which is super cool. I’m still on this end of everything scratching my head over it all too. But I will say that one of the most important, a couple really important things looking back on a year and a half in business, but one of the most important things that I think I’ve done for myself as a new business owner, which I still consider myself a new business owner, is invest in personal help. Whether that’s getting copywriting feedback from somebody I admire or hiring a business coach. I’m in the think tank now a couple of months with you two. And really truly having an expert eyes on what you’re doing and being able to make personalized suggestions or brainstorm with you about your business, it puts the pedal to the metal almost. It just takes everything up a notch and you get to see those results a bit quicker.
Rob: So, I’d love to hear about that first client. You obviously emailed for clients on maybe the worst day for business in the past decade, maybe even longer than that. What did you do to connect with that first client to get your business going? Because like you and Kira were pointing out, you launched at a terrible time and yet you’ve had some amazing growth and success. So what was that first step?
Kristin: The first step was truly terrifying. I sent out a batch of cold emails, which were my first cold emails ever. I was in a different niche, I started out writing for folks in the medical industry. So I guess maybe I had a few responses that first batch of cold emails. I landed my first client within a month of starting. And that was a really tiny first job, it was a $200 blog post for a nutritionist. I was ecstatic I made $200 by myself online and somebody was paying me to write a blog post for them. And I truly couldn’t believe it. I think I spent a couple of months in that niche in the cold emailing world gathering a few clients before I pivoted into more of launch copy space. And I just got real hooked on digital courses, and that was maybe one year ago from right now.
Kira: What does your business look like today? What type of offers, packages have you created?
Kristin: Today, and my business has gone through a couple… I’ve shed a couple of layers in the year and a half. I started off in the medical space and then I pivoted to launch copy and wrote a few big launches. And earlier this year, I stumbled upon the VIP model and tried that hat on. I started offering VIP days and I totally fell in love with them. So now my business, I only offer VIP intensives. I built out my VIP day to be a VIP intensive, to write launch copy for course creators. And that’s it, I have one offer.
Rob: What does a typical engagement look like? If I come to you, Kristin and say, “Okay, I want to hire you, a VIP day.” What does that look like? What’s my experience as a client?
Kristin: Sure. So if you are client or you’d like to be a client and work together, you’d fill out an application. And I’ll say too that it’s just me and my business, I don’t have a team of writers. I actually don’t have a team of anybody. I just hired a VA to help me with onboarding maybe a month ago, but we’re working together about five hours a month. So if you were a potential client, you would fill out an application and your application would hit my inbox. We would chat over email and secure a spot. Once that spot was secured, I’d send you some pre-work to make sure that I have all of the information I’d need to kick us off on our VIP project. And that happens over three days.
So, we’d hop on a kickoff call when our project began and that kickoff call is like a 60 to 90 minute ordeal. And then we’d have a strategy day, which is all on me. I strategize the copy and make a nice outline, it’s actually pretty messy, and prepare myself for a big writing day. The third day of the VIP intensive is also all on me, and that is the writing marathon where I’ll flash out a sales page or a sales email sequence to deliver to the client by the end of day. And then we do a couple of wrap up things. My clients have the opportunity to suggest edits for a round of edits and they do also get some copy support over boxer or email. But really everything happens in three days.
Kira: So, what happens on the strategy day? Can you just go get into the weeds. Are you with the client most of the time or are you just chatting a bit? I know you already had your kickoff call, but what happens on that day?
Kristin: Sure, yeah. And maybe I can clarify, the only time that I need my client for the VIP intensive is on the kickoff call, the rest of the stuff is all on me. The strategy day that comes the day after the kickoff call is where I sit down with all of the notes from our kickoff call, my client’s pre-work, which is oftentimes like uploading voice of customer or survey responses or maybe a previous sales page. I sift through a lot of different pieces to write an outline and organize my thoughts. Sometimes that will take me all day. As you guys know, waiting through research and boiling everything down can take quite a bit.
So, the second day of the VIP intensive, that’s really what I focus on. And once, and I’m not unique in this, but I found that once I have a really solid outline, which is the sections of the sales page outlined and all the relevant voice of customer dropped into those sections, then writing the sales page becomes, I don’t want to say easy because it’s not easy, but it becomes much more manageable. So I think that skipping the strategy day or skipping a really thorough outline is probably a mistake. Most folks are writing and then you sit down at your sales page and you’re super overwhelmed. So the strategy day is quite important.
Rob: I like how you’ve taken this idea of VIP Day, which so many people do, and actually added things to it to make it more effective for your clients. And this is one of the things that I struggle with. I’ve never done VIP days myself, but I don’t like them because it feels to me like everything is so rushed or you’ve got to jump on. And it’s not always clear what the client is going to get at the end of the day. Do you deliver three emails? Do you deliver seven emails? So I love the way that you’ve stretched it out over a few days that you can do all of the work that is needed in order to get a real result for your client.
Kristin: And I think that’s really interesting too, Rob. Sometimes as the VIP day is becoming a more prominent offer, for copywriters in particular, I think we make the mistake of blending together a VIP offer and a day rate where we have, okay, I’ll just work for you for this day. Whatever I get done in seven hours, I get done, which truly is a day rate. And we can backpedal from that quite a bit. Again, this is all stuff I’m learning over the past year. And say, well, what does my client truly, truly want? If they want a deliverable, which most of my clients want, a full sales page, what do I need to do to be able to make that happen? And for me, that was backing away from, this is how much I charge per day in that day rate corner. And again fleshing that out into what I’m calling a VIP intensive, which takes place over a few days so that you can deliver that bigger transformation.
Kira: Let’s cut in here and talk about what stood out. Rachel, what stood out to you in this part of the conversation?
Rachel: There were a lot of things. But I always find it so interesting to hear people’s stories about how they got to copy because it’s always this winding road. I feel like, especially people who are my age, mid-30s, it just wasn’t a traditional option growing up. It’s not like we had people in our lives that we could look to as doctor, lawyer, copywriter. It just wasn’t a standard option. So I feel like hearing the stories of how people got there are so fascinating to me. And hers was exactly that. We think of writers as these people who are starving artists, writing novelists, and so we don’t really see it as an option. Then we all find this in and we’re like, “Oh, you can write in a way and get paid.” It was so fun to hear her back into it through academia and writing in the health field and then seeing that opportunity open up.
Kira: And I didn’t realize until we interviewed Kristin that she had focused so heavily on poetry and that poetry is such a big part of her life. I’m curious, Rachel, what do you do for creativity? Or how do you get unstuck if you want to feel more creative?
Rachel: Oh man, this is the dumbest answer because I feel like everyone gives it, but I take a shower. I keep a waterproof notebook in my shower.
Rachel: Yeah, absolutely.
Kira: Where can I get one? Where can I get a water-
Rachel: It’s on Amazon. I forget what it’s called. It’s the Write Rain or thing like that, I’ll send you a link you can put it in the show notes. But it is the only place. And you know what it is, it’s so sad that my phone is not accessible to me. So it’s like you’ve showered thousands and thousands of times in your life hopefully. So you’re just going through the motions and it’s like the ideas, the muse can visit you almost. So if I’m stuck on something, that is the first place I go.
Kira: And it’s great because I know you have little kids, really little. So it’s the one place you can usually go where you’re not interrupted, so that’s why I love shower time too.
Rachel: It’s like blessed silence and alone time. No one’s touching you no one’s talking to you.
Kira: You can’t hear anything going on. Your kids could be screaming and you wouldn’t know.
Rachel: Yeah, absolutely. And my brain just goes into that, it shifts into neutral and then it’s ready for input. And I don’t think I’m prepared for input at any other time. So I wish that I wrote poetry, but I just take a shower.
Kira: You could write poetry in the shower. That is the next step.
Rachel: I honestly said probably.
Kira: I love that because I used to have crayons in the shower, these really cool shower crayons. So I would take no… And that’s when I had roommates before I got married, two different roommates. So I would write all my ideas in the shower. But then I realized it got crusted over and you have to maintain that, you have to clean it. So I think your notebook idea could be a lot easier to maintain than the crayons.
Rachel: Oh, it’s magical. I’m going to send you one.
Kira: All right. So I know we talked to Kristin a lot about her growth because I’m just always amazed when copywriters just take off. And Kristin started her business, her copywriting business in March of 2020 with her first email to her list. I’m just like, how this is so fast and she’s built it. I guess she talked a little bit about what helped her invest and grow, but can you share, Rachel, what’s helped you grow your business? What would you recommend to listeners?
Rachel: I was so impressed by her story, the fact that she’s grown so much and so quickly, and especially in March of 2020. What an intimidating time to start a business. I feel like starting anything new takes both a lot of confidence and a lot of humility. You need to have the confidence to believe that you can do a good job and then humility to take feedback when you inevitably don’t nail it at some point. I was just really impressed hearing that part of her story, like sending the emails and then charge big money really quickly. I think a lot of people struggle with that.
For me, I struggled with the confidence piece. Because you meet all these people and you listen to all these podcasts and you hear them doing big things and you just assume that they have something you don’t like, oh, there’s a reason they’re able to do that. I think the biggest lesson I learned that helped me step into the role of CEO and business owner was that they don’t have anything special, they just decided to do it. I needed to make that decision if I wanted to run a successful business. And I feel like that’s something Kristin did really well. She just made the choice really early on that she was going to make it work.
Kira: When did you make that decision? Do you remember that moment or the day?
Rachel: I don’t know. I remember always being really, really insecure when I would deliver first draft. I was already making money, I already had a lot of clients, and I was still having this nagging feeling of insecurity and those butterflies when you hit send like, “Are they going to like it? Are they not going to like it?” And if I didn’t hear an immediate hallelujah, you’re the best copywriter I’ve ever from them, I would start to get even more nervous.
I remember my husband said something a couple of years ago and it completely revolutionized the way I approached feedback in general. He said like, “Rachel, what’s happened before when someone doesn’t like it?” And I was like, “Well, I just fixed it and then they loved it.” And he just said, “Well, why would this be any different than that? Why do you have to take yourself through this agony every single Monday when you deliver a draft copy to your clients?” And I was like, “Oh, you’re right.” It was just trusting that the genius and brilliance that gets you to this point can fix any problems that come up. So rather than fearing the issues, it was embracing the success.
Kira: So now you don’t feel the same anxiety that you used to feel, is it easier?
Rachel: I wouldn’t go that far. I just don’t think it’s as intense. People say, well, you got to have a thick skin and I’m like, “Well, where can I buy that?” Because I have been doing this for a decade and I still don’t have a thick skin. But I think it’s just a gradual belief in yourself, that you can make it better if they don’t. You’re not always going to get it right. And maybe lowering the expectation that you’re going to get it perfect and expecting there to be some feedback. That’s such a huge part of our job as copywriters is feedback. So for me, I think I’m getting better at it, But I don’t think I’m ever going to be the type of person that’s like, “Oh yeah, no sweat off my back.” There’s always going to be sweat on my back, but I will figure it out.
Kira: Okay, cool. We also talked a lot about VIP offers. That’s also something that Kristin is known for now. How does structure work in your business? Because the way I remember it from our conversations is that you have a structured business. You know when client work comes in, you know when it will go out, you mentioned you have four or copywriters now. So what does it look like internally for your business?
Rachel: Was listening to this and I was like, oh, that’s basically what I do, I just don’t call it an intensive. I love that she isn’t doing just one day. I know a lot of copywriters do that and it works really well for them. That, again, a lot of sweat on my back if I’m trying to finish a website in a day, I do not know if I could do that. But we have a really quick process similar to hers in that we have our calls on Mondays, we deliver the first draft of web copy the next Monday, and then we have until that Friday to edit it. So it’s 11 days start to finish, it’s a little longer than hers. But at the same time, it’s fast. And there’s no freedom to change in that, it’s a pretty rigid structure.
Kira: And what advice would you give to anyone listening who does like the idea of a more rigid structure based off what’s worked for you?
Rachel: I think the best thing about it is making your clients feel so special during that time. You don’t want them to think, “Oh, you’re only giving me this time.” You want them to think, “Oh my gosh, you’re giving me all this time.” And the way to transform that is the way you communicate about the offer. You tell them, “You are my sole focus for this time period. No one else gets my attention, I’m on speed dial for you.” And that way, they realize that you are their employee for that time being, and our clients really, really love that. I imagine if you’re spending three full days with someone and you’re constantly communicating during those three days, they have to feel pretty special. So just making people feel like the apple of your eye I think is the most important part.
Kira: I like that you have the 11 days or yeah, 11 days and Kristin has three days. And even today I was talking to another copywriter who basically said like the whole three day concept isn’t really working, it feels too rushed, even a week feels too rushed. So she’s thinking about shifting to a 30 day model where it’s still a VIP intensive, it’s still VIP treatment, but there are more deliverables and then she’ll have a little bit more wiggle room. And so I like that the conversation has shifted now and it’s less about what can you do in one day and it’s more like, how can you make client feel really special, like you’re talking about. And also how can you do this in a way that isn’t going to fatigue you, exhaust you, and it works for your process. So I think we’re getting more creative with the VIP intensive.
Rachel: And I think that’s so important because while I think it’s so cool to learn from other people, other copywriter, it’s also really important to know yourself really well and to figure out what works best for you. What amount of time do you need to do your best work? And when is it pushing it too far? And when does it make the editing process too cumbersome? There’s a sweet spot for every industry, every niche, for every single piece of copy you can write, you just need to find it for you and your clients. This was trial and error. I’ve been running it this way for six years almost and we’ve changed the process a ton. It hasn’t shifted in about two and a half years because we found the sweet spot.
Kira: And when you work with a client, it is really one at a time, right? One client, one focus, and then you’ll add the next client the next week. So you’re roughly getting through four for a month.
Rachel: Well, it depends. Now that we have more writers, they’re all contracted so it’s not like they’re on full-time schedules. So we’re probably in 2022, we did 35 individual websites this year between me and two writers. So I’m hoping to do the same volume next year, maybe a little bit more. Because I want to be able to give my writers brain breaks too. They have other jobs and other copywriting that they do. So I would like to give everybody a client or two every single month, that way they’re not going back to back with people. And we write in a niche, when you write for only photographers, you need to give your brain some room to breathe.
Kira: And that’s what I like about what you are doing and what Kristin is doing, you both are niched down. So Kristin’s niche in the launch space and like she said, this is her one offer. If you want to work with her, this is how you do it. And it’s the same for your business, this is how you do it with your clients. So, do you have any advice just surround the power of niching or how it has helped you or maybe frustrations around it? Because it is such a big part of your business.
Rachel: Kristin is a great example of this too. If you’re excellent at what you do, you have options. I think niching feels like putting yourself in a box to some people, it certainly did to me at first. And then I realized, if I’m really excellent at this, I’m going to get inquiries for all sorts of things. People are in my inbox once a week, “I’m an interior designer. I know you only work with photographers, but will you work with me?” And I’m sure the same thing happens to Kristin. Then she gets to write poetry because she’s really excellent at this. Being excellent at this job will allow her opportunities to be excellent in other ways. So, I think if you can look at niching as a way to expand opportunity, it’s easier to dive in.
Kira: All right. And anything else that stood out to you before we jump back into the interview?
Rachel: She said something that I thought was really, really cool. She said she doesn’t know if the way she got into launch copy is repeatable. But I think she did a fantastic job, she just showed up. She found someone she respected, she humbly stated who she was and what she wanted to learn with Brittany, and she probably added a ton of value to that community and she got noticed for it. I think there was like… I think consistency and willingness are the main components you need to just start, and she did it. I think there’s a lot of formulas in our world as copywriters. I think I’d love to hear her thinking critically about it. And she saw things as a guide, not the Bible. I just like her ability to ask why, but also answer it for the different kinds of copies she wanted to learn.
Kira: Well, let’s get back into the episode so we can dive deep into the rest of Kristin’s VIP process. And then also the critical thinking that you shared so we can understand more of what she’s done in her business.
Rob: So, are there other things in addition to the work process and the work product, the deliverable that you give at the end of the experience, are there other are things that you do to give the experience a VIP feel?
Kristin: I’ve definitely started the past couple of months. Part of my off boarding process is to deliver a client gift. And I’ve really made strides to walk away from the typical gift box, which are really lovely, I’ve gotten them myself. But I get to know so many fun things about my clients from chatting with them and figuring out their offers and doing that deep dive into who they are. That I love to hop on Etsy and find something super personal. And this is a silly example, but a few weeks ago I worked with a client who is a financial coach. And she loves early ’90s and early 2000s hip hop and R&B, it’s basically a part of her brand. She’s always singing, she’s got this amazing soundtrack that she sends her clients so do this money Monday day. And I wove so much fun stuff into our copy that was hip hop and R&B from the early ’90s.
So, when I was going to send her a gift, I did a quick search on Etsy and found a sweet little mom and pop shop in Brooklyn that makes little jewelry with acrylic faces of rappers on them. So I got her a Notorious BIG ring with his face on it, which was just… It’s funny and silly, it’s not a high end thing, but it was really personalized. And she dropped me a note that was like, “Oh my God, this is the best gift I’ve ever gotten.” So that was really fun. So all of that to say, I’ve woven personalized client gifts into my off boarding process.
I also like to surprise my clients and I don’t actually talk about this many places. But I like to surprise them when I’m delivering their final copy with some gift and usually like to help them in their business. And usually that’s a client onboarding surveys that they can give their new students when they enroll in the course. Plus it’s selfish because if they come back to me for another VIP day, I have all the correct voice of customer that I need. So I surprise and delight them with some little gifts like that. And then of course, everybody also has access to me on Foxer for a week after, so there’s post copy support too.
Kira: What has surprised you the most I about running these VIP intensives?
Kristin: I think that when I first started offering them, and I do get this question a lot from new copywriters too that are interested but cautious. It’s like, well, how much can I really get done in a day? And I’ve found that with a process, you can get done a lot. I think historically I’ve always been somebody that is always… I always feel like I’m doing so much work. But when you start to truly pay attention or at least when I started to truly pay attention to what I was doing, I was wasting 15 minutes here, I was checking my inbox for 10 minutes, I was clicking over and messing with the format or setting up the sales page.
And when you comb out all of that extra tinkering and do that one thing that you’re supposed to do, focus on that one task, you can get a lot done. Plus I think another thing that’s truly surprised me is with all the processes in place, you get better and better pretty quickly. I do the same process every Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday in my business, which means I write a lot of sales pages and I write a lot of email sequences. And it makes it easier, it gets easier, it gets more fun. You can get a lot done. I think those are some big surprises.
Rob: Let’s talk about how you price this experience. And I actually really want to know, where did you start and how has that changed over the last year and a half or so?
Kristin: There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement in this department for me, but I did start at offering VIP days for $1,200, which I was so scared about, I was so frightened. I was like, “Who do I think I am?” And those took off. I think I sold maybe three or four and I said, “Oh, maybe I should bump my price a bit.” So I bumped it to $1,500 and then I kept selling those. So I think I went up to $2,000. I’m at 2,500 now for the VIP intensive, but I am viewing that price as a beta price as I was just finding my footing with a three day model. I’m close to bumping it to $2,997. And I do hope to go up from there.
Kira: So, I’m wondering about the exhaustion involved because we’ve chatted about this. And it’s intense, three days focused on one client, you’re not taking a lot of breaks. How do you deal with the just exhaustion involved and how do you plan around that?
Kristin: The exhaustion, I truly… They are work sprints, so it’s not like you can do a ton of these per month, I do one per week. And sometimes when my clients double up on copy assets, like say somebody needs a sales page and then an accompanying sales sequence, I’ll add a writing day to the backend, which means the VIP intensive go goes four days instead of three. That’s a lot of work. But I truly don’t feel like the VIP intensive model makes me any more tired or exhausted than my bigger retainer projects. Those perhaps were a different type of energy. But that marathon of, okay, I have three weeks to write a sales page or so or I have three months to write a launch funnel, that exhausts, even just thinking about that. That exhausts me way more than thinking about writing a sales page in three days or a few assets in four.
Rob: So, while we’re talking about managing those processes, are there things that you’re doing to, I guess, the self-care routines or do you have morning routines that help keep your energy up so that when Monday hits, you’re deep into the strategy and when Wednesday comes, you’re able to just start cranking on the writing? Tell us a little bit about that.
Kristin: I don’t have a morning routine. I’m definitely not in the 5:00 AM club or anything like that, I’m not a morning person. So I usually take my time in the morning, maybe that’s my morning routine.
Rob: It sounds like a good way to do it if you’re not a morning person.
Kristin: I wake up, I have a cup coffee. Sometimes I sit on the couch for a half hour before I’m ready to face my computer. Actually, what I’ve just done recently, which is a new development I’m really excited about, is I joined a co-working space. So when I have my client work, which is my Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday mainly, I do all of that at this new co-working space for this last couple of weeks. And I think that has really energized me in the fact of, okay, I’m not home all day long. I have a little bit of a routine going, even though it’s not a morning routine. I still pack a lunch, I still gather all my stuff together, I still go drive downtown, park downtown, sometimes I’ll walk around downtown. We have a really cute, very quaint downtown section in Fort Collins, so I’ll wander around old town on my lunch break.
And I think getting out of the house that way has been one of the best things I’ve done for self-care maybe in this past year because we’ve all been pretty cooped up. I think that that’s the big one that comes to mind. I’m also really energized by, and I will say too, full disclaimer, I’m a 100% home body, full introvert. So self-care for me is also being home. But to create that work life balance, finding work, a space to work outside of my house has been really nice. But I also do really love getting outside on the weekends. And Fort Collins is nestled right up against the Rocky Mountains, so taking some nice trips outside on a Saturday or a Sunday really refreshes me for a work week.
Kira: We talk to so many copywriters who want to get into launch copy. And you’ve done it, you’ve been successful. What advice would you give to copywriters who aren’t in that space but want move in that direction?
Kristin: I don’t know that how I broke into the launch copy space is a repeatable process because it was super sloppy and I was just throwing darts in the dark waiting for something to stick. But all of that to say, I think one of the most meaningful things I did do that I would truly recommend again is I found a copywriter who was just a little bit ahead of me in terms of writing launches. And I showed up in her world a lot. I joined her Facebook group, I asked her some questions, I raised my hand and said, “Hey, I’m new to this space and I’d love to learn more.” I ended up writing on her team and it’s… Who I’m chatting about is Britney McBean and she’s a such your prominent name around the TCC world.
So, I cozy up to Britney and I ended up writing on her team for a couple of months before she switched to a full in-house writer. And I learned so, so much that way about launches, about how they work, about what deliverables looked like for clients, about how you troubleshoot, what you might revise. All of these little things I learned personally from somebody else, which was super cool. I know that’s, again, not advice where it’s like, “Go buy this course.” But if you have the opportunity to do that as a new launch copywriter, I highly recommend it.
Rob: So, because you spent so much time in the launch space and you’ve seen what other people are doing, you’ve seen what your clients want, what are some of the mistakes that other copywriters are making or things that we just need to stop doing when it comes to launch copy?
Kristin: I think what I wasn’t doing in the beginning was asking why, in terms of the copy strategy. Why does the sales page look like this? Why am I putting pain points first? Why do I include this type of FAQ over this type of FAQ? That constant asking of why is I think maybe missing from even some trainings out there. We’re always looking for like a template, like okay, wait, what is the starting point? Well, sometimes the starting point is a template. But in order to make meaning out of those things, you have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing, why launch email three comes before launch email four. Because if you don’t know why, you can’t truly be an asset to your clients. Or maybe you can, but I think approaching launches knowing some launch strategy or being curious about launch strategy is definitely necessary and maybe not talk talked about too much.
Kira: Kristin, you’ve grown, like we’ve already said, you’ve grown so fast. I’m just wondering where you’ve struggled the most in your business since you jumped into the world of copywriting, what’s been a struggle? And then what is the struggle today? Maybe it’s the same struggle, maybe it’s different.
Kristin: Sure, I’ve struggled a lot. One of the things that’s become apparent to me, and we’re just fresh recording this fresh off of the think tank fall retreat, which was truly amazing, but it became really obvious to me at that retreat that marketing is something that I super struggle with a lot. I really love the client side of stuff, I really love writing copy, I really love research and development. But when it comes to marketing my business and getting visible and showing up in a strategic way, I feel like Bambi on ice skates, I don’t know how to do it. So I’ve definitely struggled with getting visible.
I will say that I was never, and again I don’t think I’m unique in this, but I was never on social media until 2019. I created an Instagram in 2019 for the first time. I created a Facebook for the first time in 2020 when I figured out that a lot of copywriters were using Facebook to network. So showing up in a public way, it’s a different language to me. So that’s one thing that I have struggled with from the beginning and still struggle with now. And I hope to really hone in on that maybe in this next year of business or so in a short amount of time.
Rob: So, in addition to upping your marketing or figuring that out, what else is next for you in your business?
Kristin: I think digital products are something that I’m super intrigued by. I write for course creators and folks who are launching digital products. And I have gotten so much out of joining some courses on copywriting or on how to run a business. I’m really taken by the idea of digital products. So I hope that next I might be coming up with some of those and coming out with some of those. Although everything’s still just percolating in my head, but hopefully we’ll have some announcements shortly.
Kira: I’m just wondering, as you move forward, how will you continue to grow in your business beyond starting digital products? But what else are you doing in the months ahead to continue to grow in your business, grow personally, and grow professionally?
Kristin: I had mentioned earlier that I am basically a team of one with the exception is my very, very brand-new VA. I have thought about expanding a team, not so much in terms of writers because managing a team of writers was never something I wanted for my business. But I would like to partner with some folks maybe to help me solve that marketing problem that I have. I think one of the lessons I’ve learned or I’m continuously learning is that I don’t have to have my hand in every single pot, I’m a control freak, a perfectionist. And I feel like I have to be in control of everything. And in letting that go and inviting other people to help me recognizing that not everything is a zone of genius of mine is a mindset that I’m growing into and increasingly recognizing the importance of. So I do hope to grow my team over maybe the next quarter or so, that’s one way.
And then personally, I just joined, sorry to bring up poetry again, I just decided to get together with a friend of mine who was a former MFA student with me and one of our professors, we still live in the same town, to do a monthly book club. Which has never worked for me before, I’ve never been in a book club. But poetry books are often short and easy to get through. So every month we’re meeting up at a cafe and chatting about a new book of poems which is something that I’m really, really, truly looking forward to after being so business mind, especially over the last year. Thinking about talking about art and poetry with other folks again feels really inviting. So I’m super excited about that.
Rob: Now I want to join that book group, that sounds cool. I can drive over the front range and join you guys once a month, something like that. So Kristin, you mentioned a few minutes ago the Think Tank Retreat and that it was amazing. And this is a totally selfish question, but I’m curious to hear from you, what was it about that retreat that was so impactful for you?
Kristin: Oh, boy. Well, I think first of all being in a room with some folks that you admire and learning from them. And I’m talking about Chris Stokowski and Casey Stanton and a couple of other folks, just being in a Zoom room with them. Again, it’s not a summit where you don’t have access, you can ask these folks questions, which is wild. Having that type of access to industry leaders is so energized, it’s so encouraging. That was just such a highlight. I also think that being able to leave those workshops and then go chat about that stuff with your fellow think tank copywriters really again, makes everything that much more special because you have all these brand new ideas and you get to chat about them. I was voxering with Ash chow yesterday about digital products because you’re excited and you get to share that excitement and brainstorm with other folks just like you. Those two things in particular stand out right now. But truly, truly just a really spectacular experience.
Kira: Well, thanks for saying that, Kristin. I’m going to bring a question back that I haven’t asked in a while but I love it. What is does the future of copywriting look like to you?
Kristin: I could be wrong, I’m still a newbie. But I think that more and more, and we’ve seen this a little bit recently, but I think more and more we are getting really disenchanted and fed up with the old marketing tactics that yes worked but feel really bad, they feel bad. I think most of that stems from this idea of conversion copy. And if we think… We’re all people who use language all the time and we work with language as a medium. The word conversion copy, it doesn’t resonate with me because we’re not really trying to convert anybody to anything. That’s where this slimy comes in, like I’m going to trick you, I’m going to convert you into this program and it’s going to be sneaky and you’re not going to know it’s happening. I think all of that has to go.
And I think that we’re making some really exciting shifts to thinking about conversion copy, which I think needs a new name, in terms of giving folks the tools that they need to make the best decision for themselves. So that gives the agency back to the potential client or the potential student to make a decision and not so much on the copywriter or the course creator or business owner to trick folks or convert them over. So I think we’ll see a really great and meaningful shift into more ethical copywriting and the way that we teach and view what it means to write conversion copy.
Rob: Thanks, Kristin. This has been an awesome look at your business and how far you’ve come in so little time. If somebody wants to connect with you, follow you, read your poetry, and all the other things, where should they go?
Kristin: If you want to come check out my website, it’s macintyrecoffee.com. If you want to chat, please DM me, I love chatting with folks in DMS, voice notes are my fave. And you can find me on Instagram at Kristin.MacIntyre. And if you are eagerly awaiting some poems, I have a poetry collection that I’ve been shopping around to a few publishers, it was my master’s thesis. That is probably not going to be in the world and for another decade or so.
Rob: And just to be clear it’s McIntyre, T-Y-R-E not T-Y just in case somebody can’t spell it correctly.
Kristin: You got it.
Kira: So, your poetry collection is not your lead magnet.
Rob: But it should be. Maybe it should be.
Kristin: Not yet.
Kira: I want it. Please take my email address, I want your poetry, please, please, please.
Kristin: Well, Kira, I remember you said somewhere that you were head of the poetry club in high school, which might have been the moment I got some hard eyes for you.
Kira: Well, I don’t even mention that to you since you have a professional background in it. But yes, I did co-found a poetry club back in the day. So I’m-
Rob: Now I’m Googling for Kira’s poetry.
Kira: Oh, my gosh, it’s so embarrassing. Kristin’s legit and good. I am just an embarrassing, so I’m an embarrassing poet. But yes, we’ll talk poetry privately. And I’m excited to read yours. So thank you Kristin so much for hanging out with us today.
Kristin: Thanks so much for having me.
Rachel: That’s the end of our interview with Kristin McIntyre before we head out. Kira, what else stood out to you in the last half of the episode?
Kira: Well, the whole morning routine part actually made me very happy because we do talk a lot about morning routines and the 5:00 AM Club. And whenever we talk about it, I’m interested in it. I love to hear about people’s routines. I’m always trying to figure out my routine that constantly changes. But I also can see or feel the eye rolls from anyone listening who’s not an early morning person or that doesn’t work for them. So I love that Kristin was just like, “I don’t really have a morning routine, maybe that’s my morning routine.” So it just shows you that there, like you said, there is no formula, there is no right or wrong. You don’t have to wake up at 5:00 AM to be a successful copywriter. Kristin proves that, many copywriter have proven that. So I guess that just leads me to, Rachel, to you, do you have a morning routine or just how do you feel about morning routines?
Rachel: I laugh really hard when bro marketing podcasts talk about their 5:00 AM routine. And I’m like, “If you have kids, you have a wife, obviously you are able to handle all of this.” Because as a mom, it is just not feasible to have consistency when your babies are little. So I’m the wrong person to ask about that kind of thing. I have to wake up at 5:00 AM because it’s the only time I’m alone if I’m not in the shower and my brain works better in the morning. So I do the bulk of my work for the day between 5:00 and 7:30. That is not me being part of the 5:00 AM club as in like, I wake up at 5:00 AM then I’m hitting the work hard until 5:00 PM. No, I hit it until 7:30 AM. And then if I have lingering things to get done throughout the day, I will revisit it. But the bulk of my work has to happen in the morning before anyone has asked me to make them oatmeal.
Kira: And is that day to day or do you fill it out? I’ve started doing this where I do like to start at 5:00 AM but I also just fill it out. Maybe it’s a little bit of laziness or, I don’t know, maybe it’s a slacker in me. But I’m like if I wake up and I’m just not feeling it, I will sleep through until 7:00 when the kids wake up.
Rachel: Absolutely, you should do that, you have a little tiny baby. I would say more often than not, and this is new, I had a really hard time, I had my son in June of 2020. And I was waking up with the kids until probably August of this year. So over a year, I was just getting up with the kids. And I found myself getting so frustrated because I wasn’t getting back to my computer until on 9:00 or 9:30 in the morning after the nanny came and I knew my best hours were done. My brain just works better in the morning. And I’m asleep on the couch at 8:30 every night, I am not a late person at all. I wish I was because I love nighttime, I just can’t stay awake to enjoy it.
So finally, I dug myself out of the nursing grind because I was up nursing in the middle of the night for a year. So 5:00 AM just wasn’t going to happen for me. But when I started doing it in August, it’s been almost every day because I’m sleeping through the night. Now, if my kids are up throughout the night, I guarantee you I would be hitting that snooze button and going right back to bed. But I just know that I’m going to do my best work then. So that’s why I do it. I think you should… We get to own our own businesses. So I think that we all should work whenever is best for us. I love it when people are like, “Oh yeah, I worked till 3:00 AM.” I would die if I tried to do that. So you started getting up at 5:00, are you still up through the night with your kids?
Kira: No. And that’s a really good point, it’s just things constantly shift. So for me now that Homer isn’t up, typically he’s been sleeping through the night, I’m able to get back because I do like the morning routine, I do like the early morning. So that’s helped me get back to that. But it’s not consistent yet, and that’s okay. And I’m just going with the flow. But I, like you, I do my best work in the morning. Again, like we’ve said, Kristin does her best work later in the day. You don’t have to be part of the morning club, it’s cool. So I’m glad that she brought that up.
I also like that she mentioned she goes to a co-working space. I know that’s something that wasn’t available to many of us over the last few years because of the pandemic. But it’s great to hear that copywriters are able to get out more. And that is something that I miss. I used to go to coffee shops all the time in New York and I love the energy and I could just work really well. I’m missing that, the coworking space and that environment. So what about for you, do you get out?
Rachel: It is so hard to live and work in the same room. I try, but my babies are so little and they’re not vaccinated. So I’m still a little bit hesitant probably more than the average bear with being in public spaces all that much. But every once in a while, I will treat myself. I live in Denver, Colorado, so it’s really nice outside a lot of the time. So I have a porch wing, so I try to go out and work there some days just to switch up the scenery. But I’m with you, the coffee shop vibe is definitely my favorite environment. And if I were smarter and more proactive, I probably would get a co-working membership where I get an office to myself so I don’t have to worry about COVID.
Kira: Yeah, that might be a goal for me, in 2022 office space. So we did touch a little bit on the VIP experience and just how to really make it feel VIP. Kristin shared that she likes to surprise her clients with not only a gift but also with some type of deliverable. I really like that, she shared. I think she shares her client onboarding and survey as the gift. And it helps because it will help her with the next project if they book again, then she can actually have survey data. So it’s really smart, it adds value for that client experience. Anytime you can surprise and delight, that’s a win. So Rachel, what else do you do? I know you said that you like them to feel special, you want them to feel like they are the only client you’re focused on. Is there anything else you do to surprise and delight your clients?
Rachel: Yeah, everybody who is a one-on-one client of ours gets cookies in the mail. Because I talk a lot about cookies on Instagram because they’re my favorite food. So everybody gets some cookies. And I’m actually switching up the business that we use. But who doesn’t like getting fruit in the mail and then I actually have a mustard with my label and brand on it that I’m obsessed with. And if I do a copy audit for them, that’s what they get for that.
Kira: They get mustard?
Rachel: Mm-hmm (affirmative). It’s really spicy hot mustard and it’s got my logo and my business name.
Kira: That’s so fun.
Rachel: … and the colors on it. I cannot tell you how many clients are like, “Can I get another bottle of that mustard?”
Kira: I want some.
Rachel: Okay, I’m going to send you a notebook and some mustard.
Kira: The cookies, I know you said you’re changing the company, but do you recommend any cookie source? Because it’s hard to find good cookies online.
Rachel: It’s really hard. Milk Bar has a great selection. I use a brand called Stuffed Cookies in California, they’re really decadent, really over the top. But their branding is hot pink, so it just doesn’t go with my vibe. So I’ve been using them. So we’re going to switch to, I don’t even know how to say it, the company in New York, they’re famous Liban, Lebon Cookies. So we’re going to switch over to those. But I mean a little bag of cookies in the mail, it doesn’t get much better than that in my book.
Kira: All right. So Kristin shared a little bit about her struggles and she… So much is going well in her business, but said a struggle is her own marketing and not showing up on social media. Is that a struggle that you have dealt with? What’s helped you? Because this struggle is a real struggle for many of us, this is not just Kristin. So how have you worked through that?
Rachel: When I was in the same tank with you, I feel like I talked a ton about social media. I struggle with it because it would consume me. It was something so mindless, it was such an easy way to escape any difficulty. I would always count it as work like, “Wow, I’m on Instagram, I’m working.” But it’s not all work. So I think for me, I put really… I took an eight month break and then I put really, really strict boundaries on it when I came back this summer. I just said, if I’m going to be on it, I’m not going to post about anything but work. So if this is going to be a viable lead source for me, I have to be creating consistent content. Because I really fell into the bad habit of using my kids as content because that’s what I was doing all day, especially in 2020.
And I didn’t want, nobody cares about that, that wants to hire me. My clients are Gen Z wedding photographers. So I don’t think they cared about my three year old, which is fine, they shouldn’t. So I took that as a content pillar out of my strategy and it’s forced me to get more creative and just look at every conversation I have with a client as content opportunities. And it made it much less personal in a way that my feelings aren’t wrapped up in my posts anymore. If it performs well, great if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. So I think removing that personal element for me was really, really important to showing up more. I don’t want my friends and family to follow me on there because that’s not what the account is for. So I think that mindset is huge if you’re going to post because otherwise you can get really embarrassed or worried what people are going to think. But if you just look at it as another lead source, it’s like, okay, I can either market myself for free today or I can’t.
Kira: Well, and how has that impacted your business? Now that you’ve started this back up, can you feel a difference?
Rachel: Oh, I feel a huge difference. I care so much less about what my aunt might think about my posts because it’s not for her.
Kira: All right. And the eight month break, why eight months? And I guess what triggered that, was it just the exhaustion of caring too much about the…
Rachel: Yeah, exactly. I was doom scrolling a lot. We were trapped in Philly with a newborn and a two year old with no childcare and working full time. So I felt like every available moment I wanted to just shut my brain off. So I would just sit there scrolling and it was just hard. Everybody lived the pandemic differently and followed different rules because that’s just how it went. I found myself being so much more critical of other people than I wanted to be. I didn’t want to know if people were living differently than me, I didn’t want to know that about them, I didn’t want to have opinions about that.
So, I literally just shut it all down. And I was like, “I can’t look at this anymore, I just want to live my life and enjoy my decisions for what they are, and I want to focus on my clients in front of me.” And so that’s what I did. And it was great and it was really useful and my mental health thrived for the first time in a really long time. But I got back on this summer with a bunch of rules around it, about how I was going to use it. And it’s been fantastic, it’s the number one lead source for me in my business.
Kira: Oh, wow. I’m currently off of social media. Not for a designated number of months or weeks, it’s just I’m just not showing up there. Our brand is for the copywriter club, but, as Kira Hug, my brand is not currently active. And it’s just nice, I’m enjoying it.
Rachel: How does it feel?
Kira: It just feels like I can focus on the important things. And it just feels like a relief but also it feels like I can jump in when I want to jump in, and that’s okay.
Rachel: Yeah, that’s how I felt too. I didn’t really have a time. I was going to do it for a month and then I was like, “No.” The end of every month came and I was like, “No, I’m not ready. I don’t feel like it yet.”
Kira: All right. Well, I think I’m going to continue and we’ll see, maybe we’ll go for eight months for me too. So this connects to a little bit of what we talked to Kristin about around control. Again, I appreciate that Kristin was very open about it, that she struggles with letting go and letting go of that control in her business. You’ve had to let go in your own business because you have four copywriters that you work with as you’ve built your team. So this is hard for all of us. What has helped you let go? And what’s been a best practice for you?
Rachel: I think it’s so scary. I hired an assistant for the first time this summer, and it’s such a hard lesson to learn, that we don’t have to be in control. Because we start these businesses and literally create systems and processes and offers and marketing strategies out of nowhere. We are literally making it all up as we go. And then you invite someone to come in and shake it up and to tell you where the holes are. I just think it’s so scary because again, I obviously there’s a theme here, that I have a hard time separating my feelings from my business. I think it takes some real humility. And I just related to her so hard when she was talking about the need to let go of that control and invite someone in to make it better because it’s your baby. It was my first baby before I had actual children.
I think just realizing I think it’s practice, it’s not anything you can do until you try it. Once I invited my assistant in and she was like, “This doesn’t really make sense that you do it this way.” I’m like, “Well, I’ve been doing it that way for four years.” And then I realized, okay, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, she’s right. So once you see the value that other people can bring you and how wrong you can be about certain things, it doesn’t matter if it hurts your feelings, if it starts making you more money, or making your life better. So I think for me, this has been a season of practice and just… Even though it doesn’t feel good and it doesn’t feel comfortable and it hurts my feelings sometimes, I have to keep asking people what I’m doing wrong or what else I can be doing better. Not only will your feelings stop getting hurt, you’re going to love that person.
Kira: No, feelings are hard. I know we’ve talked a lot about feelings too. But you’re right, I think practice helps. And it was hard for me to let go of anything. And then the more I’ve done it, the more I’m just like, “I want to let go of everything, take it off.”
Rachel: Once you start, you do not want to stop.
Kira: Right! And so, now that the challenge is actually not giving everything away because some of it… I should hang on to parts of it. So sorting through that. And we also covered retreats and mentioned retreat and Kristin commented on Think Tank Retreats and how that’s helped her. So can you just share a little bit about your experience. You’ve been to Think Tank Retreats, you’ve been in person to Think Tank Retreat or two. So I guess what is the power of a retreat? Why is it worthwhile if it is for other copywriters to experience that in their business?
Rachel: I don’t know if you can tell, but I love to talk. And being able to do that in person is so much more meaningful to me. So I think the think tank, it was exactly what Kristin said it was for her. Just being in the room with people that you respect and admire and asking them personal questions that directly relate to your business, there’s nothing like it. I don’t think there’s anything you can do in your business that’s as powerful as that. I remember I went to the Think Tank Retreat in 2019, that summer and I was relaunching my business that fall. I got so many tangible ideas just from talking to people and them being able to see what I passionate about and the look on my face when I talked about certain things, helped them give me better feedback. And I hope I was able to do that for them too. But there’s just something so powerful about being able to feel someone’s energy around something. It changes the advice that you give and receive.
Kira: Anything else that you want to cover, Rachel, or highlight from the rest of the conversation?
Rachel: I’m just impressed by her, that’s what I kept thinking the whole time. I’m like, “Go girl, keep doing the dang thing.” I want to say about the marketing piece because she said she struggles with that. That is such an easy way to invite someone into your business, and I know she talked about doing that. But it does not… We create so much content in our lives and as copywriters. We’re constantly writing emails, we’re constantly giving advice, we’re constantly commenting on Facebook posts in groups. If you have someone else to just come in and tell you pull out the pieces that are valuable and then create marketing content around it, oh, it’s such a breath of fresh air to not have to constantly be reinventing the wheel like that.
Kira: And since we even interviewed Kristin, I know she mentioned somewhere in there that she wanted to create some new offers and develop some new offers in the future. But the future actually is now because Kristin has already, since this conversation, she’s already launched her own product around how to create VIP intensives, where she just gives everything all of her templates. So it’s cool to hear this interview and know that she actually did this within a month or two of that conversation and didn’t even-
Rachel: Kristin moves fast.
Kira: She moved really fast. So definitely check out Kristin’s VIP offer.
Rachel: That’s the end of the episode of the Copywriter Club podcast. The intro music was composed by copywriter and songwriter, Addison Rice, the outro was composed by copywriter and songwriter, David Luner. If you liked what you heard, be sure to head over to Apple Podcast to leave a review.
Kira: If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out episode 226 on creating a multifaceted copyrighting business with Christie Segelski. And episode 176 with Elaine Wellman if you want a behind the scenes look at TCC IRL. If you are interested in joining us for TCC IRL, if want to meet Rachel, our co-host today in person, then we’ll link the info in the show notes. You can check it out at thecopywriterclub.com/tccirl-2022. And a big thank you to my co-host for this interview and commentary, Rachel Greiman. Rachel, if anyone wants to connect with you, follow you, check out your Instagram, I don’t know, just have a conversation with you, where could they go?
Rachel: Well, first thanks you guys for having me. I had so much fun being on here. I am Green Chair Stories everywhere on the internet. So that’s my Instagram handle, greenchairstories.com is my website, my DMs are always open. I have boundaries, but I love chatting with people in there.
Kira: I have boundaries, but. All right. Well, thanks for listening. And we’ll see you next week.